The Parable of the Lost Coin

Do you know how precious you are to God? He created you, redeemed you, calls you by name, protects and comforts you. You are precious in His sight; honored and loved for all eternity! (Is 43:4) Jesus used three parables to express how much He loves His people in Luke 15. Today we will concentrate on the Parable of the Lost Coin.

The Parable of the Lost coin- one silver ancient coin on white/grey marbled background

Have you ever lost something you considered priceless? I have. It wasn’t priceless monetarily, but it was in sentiment. I lost my Mom’s silver bracelet.

She had unexpectedly passed away and from then on, I always wore the bracelet that she had worn daily. It was my comfort. It was a tangible memory of her; as if I had a piece of her with me.

One night after returning from a swim at the Y with my granddaughters, I noticed it was missing. I tore through my swim bag, car, and clothing and came up empty.

We called the Y and begged someone to look in the locker room and shower area for it. I was frantic. This was irreplaceable. I looked everywhere in my house, my bed, in the laundry. It never turned up.

I still keep a lookout for it to this day; hoping the lost will be found.

Parables in Luke

Jesus tells three parables in the book of Luke about the importance of finding the lost.  This parable about a woman who lost a valuable coin comes in the middle of two other parables about the lost: The Lost Sheep, and the Lost (Prodigal) Son. I’m more familiar with those two stories, but not the woman and the lost coin.

The three small verses in this parable hold lessons we can treasure about how irreplaceable and loved we are by God.

The Woman and the Lost Coin

Luke 15: 8-10 NIV

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Why does one coin mean so much to the woman who lost it?

Losing the monetary value of this silver coin would have been a grave misfortune. It could be used as financial support if needed, and for a small village family, this may be the only cash/savings they owned.

Additionally, women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift from their groom¹. They wore this special piece of jewelry as a necklace or a headband-like ornament. It would be like our modern version of a wedding ring.

It was a gift from her groom and had high sentimental value.  The coins showed the woman’s status as a faithful wife.

No wonder it had great worth!  And no wonder she was desperate to find it.

The Lost Coin

Homes in these ancient times were dim with no windows as we know them; usually narrow slits in the walls. Their doorways were low and little illumination came through.

She lights a lamp to search carefully and thoroughly. As she sweeps the rock and earthen floor, she listens intently for the clink of a metal coin.

And then, after much frantic searching- success! I can almost feel the relief flood in as she picks it up off the floor and holds it up to the light.

Her joy and relief are so great, she calls her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her. They would understand the meaning of losing, and finding this special, irreplaceable gift.

The Parable of the Lost Coin- center banner of many ancient coins

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Angels Rejoicing Over the Repentant Sinner

The words that Jesus used to tie his parable of the lost coin with His children melt my heart:

“There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Imagine angels, who live in the presence of God in Heaven; surrounded by glory we can only imagine.

Now imagine the news coming in of another saved soul (I’m so curious about how they hear the news! Do trumpets sound? Is there an announcement?)

The angels pause in their worship to stop and rejoice- with every single “lost coin” found!

Think of it- they live in the magnificent presence of God in a realm we can barely fathom. Yet they stop whatever they are doing and rejoice when a person repents; their eternal life is sealed! Halleluiah!

The Parable of the Lost Coin Meaning

The woman’s rejoicing over the found coin gives us a picture of our own salvation.

We have fallen and are lost in the darkness.  God searches for us with great determination. Nothing will stop Him.

Jesus Seeks the Lost

The Light of the World shines into the darkness to find us. He lovingly picks us up out of the dirt and cleanses us thoroughly.

We are forever and securely His. The celebration begins!

If you were the ONE LOST COIN, He would diligently search for you. The Heavens would still erupt in joy and thanksgiving.

God is not content with nine coins. He desires all ten. We are so precious to Him that He goes above and beyond to bring us into a relationship with Him.

2 Peter 3:9 (CEV): “The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.”

1 John 3:1a: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”

Your Identity in Christ


Do you see your worth and the incredible value you have in God’s eyes?  The world bombards us daily to say we need diets, clothing, vacations, or anti-wrinkle cream to feel better and live our best life.  But the God who created you wants you to know that He is all you need.  He gave everything for you. God sees you as you are right now and says “I love you- you are my masterpiece!”

Do you feel secure in His hands?  You are precious to Him.  He goes to the ends of the earth for you.  He knows your future and His plans for you are good. (Jeremiah 29:11)

How do you think God feels when we are too busy or pull back from our relationship with Him?

Does Jesus’ compassionate heart change the way you view others?

How diligent are you in seeking the lost and pointing them to Jesus? The woman with the lost coin is a great example to us.  I’ll be meditating on this question this week…



  1. Life Application Study Bible. New International Version, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois, and Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1991.

Photo Credit: PDPics from Pixabay, Canva

6 thoughts on “The Parable of the Lost Coin”

  1. I was told if the woman lost one of her coins that could be grounds for divorce as she had fallen out of favour with God. She had to be able to produce the ten coins to anyone who asks to see them whenever they ask. Can any scholars out there help me out with this theory.

    1. Found this, but it sounds like the divorce issue was from the suspicious husband, not anything related to God’s favor: “Nevertheless, woe betide the woman who lost her coins: her husband immediately suspected her of a wrong use of them; and the laws of divorce in the Master’s day were so heavily loaded against the wife that a man might divorce his wife if but one of those marital coins was missing from her headgear.”

    1. Take comfort from 1 John 1:9(NIV)- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God bless you!

  2. Loved this!
    I didn’t realize the importance and significance of the 10 coins as a gift from a woman’s husband/groom. Makes the parable even more meaningful

    1. I was so surprised that these 3 verses were so rich in significance! He truly doesn’t waste one word or thought 🙂 Thanks as always for reading and commenting!

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